4 Scandinavian Habits For A Healthier Life

4 Scandinavian Habits For A Healthier Life

via Forbes by David Nikel

According to UN data, the average life expectancy for someone born today in the United States stands at 79.1 years. Scandinavian countries Sweden (83.3), Norway (82.9) and Denmark (81.4) all rank higher, as do Nordic nations Iceland (83.5) and Finland (82.5).

There are many reasons why the U.S. falls short compared with northern Europe, not least the approach to healthcare and pensions. But could part of the puzzle lie in simple lifestyle habits?

After almost 10 years living in and exploring the region, I have spotted a few healthy habits from which all us non-Scandinavians could learn a thing or two.

Friluftsliv: The joy of being outdoors

Friluftsliv is an amalgamation of the Norwegian words for fresh air and life or lifestyle. Scandinavians—especially Norwegians—are hikers. But the lifestyle isn’t anything to do with showing off the views from your hike on Instagram. It’s a term first coined by playwright Henrik Ibsen back in the 19th century and one that has stood the test of time.

Adopting the habit for yourself doesn’t have to involve exhausting hiking trips or even leaving a city. It can be as simple as taking a stroll through your local park to reconnect with nature, but that of course means not staring a screen while you’re doing it.

The simple Scandinavian diet

Many restaurants and dinner tables around the region prioritize fresh, local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible.

Dishes often record a low ‘miles to plate’ number by combining the best of the fjords with the best of the mountains. Fish and seafood are common focal points, while mushrooms and berries are among the popular accompaniments.

However, it should be noted that Scandinavians love a burger, frozen pizza or a lazy takeout just as much as anyone. That being said, several studies have confirmed health benefits of the Nordic diet, so at least they’re being healthy some of the time…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

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